Small businesses revving ready in pole position



When Formula One returns to Albert Park this week and drivers battle it out for a podium finish, small businesses across Melbourne will be cheering for another reason.

Research by NAB reveals small businesses are due for a $38 million spending boost as the city welcomes back the Melbourne Grand Prix after a two-year absence.

The data – provided by Australia’s largest business bank – shows retail is set to be fastest off the grid with spend predicted to grow by over $10 million in comparison to the week prior over the 4-day race event. Fans will also be out celebrating with a cold drink and a parma, as spend at restaurants, bars and pubs is expected to increase by over $2.1 million over the same period. Accommodation spend is also forecast to grow considerably – up $1.4 million.

NAB’s Executive for Small Business, Ana Marinkovic said it was great to see the return of big events in Melbourne.

Lamaro's owner, Paul DiMattina is expecting a bumper four days of trade.
Lamaro’s owner, Paul DiMattina is expecting a bumper four days of trade.

“There is nothing more exciting than wheel to wheel racing to the first corner, but it’s more impressive to see that small businesses will be the big event winner,” Ms Marinkovic said.

“We’re delighted to welcome the Formula One back. Events like the F1 returning to Australia’s cultural, events and sporting capital is fantastic news for small businesses who have really borne the brunt of the pandemic.”

Businesses in the Albert Park precinct* are predicted to see significant growth in spend across several industries. Spend at bars and pubs in the area is predicted to be up by a whopping 140%, fast food restaurants should see a 50% jump in turnover and accommodation spend is expected to be up 33%.

Paul DiMattina, owner of South Melbourne pub, Lamaro’s said he’s gearing up for a big week of trade.

“Pre-Covid trade around Grand Prix weekend was always strong, and it looks like this year’s event weekend will be our biggest yet,” Mr DiMattina said.

“In terms of bookings and events, this year’s GP has amazed me. People have an appetite for events again this year, and corporate groups have the money to spend as they haven’t been able to entertain clients or host events over the past two years.

“We have an all-hands-on deck attitude for the four-day event – all staff know it will be a busy, vibrant time.”


Notes to the Editor:

Predictions made from NAB transaction data pulled during the 2019 Australian Grand Prix – Thursday, March 14 to Sunday March 17.

*Albert Park Precinct includes postcodes: 3206 (Albert Park, Middle Park) and 3004 (Melbourne/St Kilda Road).



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